I love introducing others to places and people I adore. Today, I introduced our administrative assistant, the lovely Jen, to two of my favorite Wichita gems. I am an advocate for my hometown and all it has to offer, especially its local businesses and services.
As a member and former employee of KMUW-89.1 FM, I couldn’t wait to take Jen to the small but impressive public radio station on 17th street. A service of Wichita State University, there is no other station in Wichita that does more for news, music, and our community, so I am always quick to educate others. Plus, not only is the programming excellent, those who work there are some of the most creative, spirited, intelligent, and caring people our city has to offer. Needless to say, Jen is enamored with KMUW. She even signed up with me to answer the phones during their upcoming fall pledge drive.
And just when she thought our impromptu afternoon field trip couldn’t get any better, I took her to lunch at Watermark Books and Café. The smell of coffees past and present greets you as you enter and you have to truly remain on task, whether it be for lunch or a book, because deciding between the two can be torture. Over the Great Expectations and Godfather (two of the best sandwiches in town), Jen and I talked about books, work, life, and bread. If we had an extra hour or two, I’m sure we would’ve spent the entire afternoon slow-walking through the aisles of books, breathing them in, touching them, and getting lost in the wonderland that is a bookstore.
As we drove back to work, I realized our excursion was made all the better due to the wonderment and outward-awe of Jen. She relished in each moment, she hugged herself with excitement and the famous Pat Hayes; she devoured the tour of the station; with kid-like contemplation selected her sandwich at Watermark Café; and smiled all the way back to the clinic. And I joined in her enthusiasm. I’ve learned that the best way to rekindle the appreciation one has for their hometown haunts, one only has to introduce them to someone new. As the newbie’s love affair begins, your own fires are stoked and it’s like falling in love all over again with oversized artistic coffee mugs, familiar voices, global music, apricot-curry mayo, and books.